Background and the purpose of the study: Morphine-6-glucuronide (M6G) is a potent metabolite of morphine which has high penetration into the brain despite its high polarity, which could be the result of an active transport system involved in M6G transport through blood brain barrier. Examples of such transporters are p-glycoprotein (PGP), probenecid-sensitive transport mechanism, multidrug resistance related protein 1-3, the organic anion transporter family, and the organic anion transporter polypeptide family. The aim of present study was to elucidate the mechanisms involved in transporting morphine's potent metabolite, M6G. Methods: M6G permeability via two cell lines; MDCKII and MDCK-PGP, was compared with that of sucrose. M6G transport was examined in different concentrations and in the presence of inhibitors of different transport systems such as cyclosporine, digoxin and probenecid. M6G concentration was measured using ELISA assay. The method was sensitive, reliable and reproducible. Results: The results confirmed that M6G could cross a layer of MDCK II or MDR-PGP cells more than sucrose could. It was also observed that M6G is a PGP transporter substrate. Its permeability was increased by the use of a PGP expressed cell line, and also in the presence of a strong PGP inhibitor. Digoxin related transporters such as Oatp2 may also involved in transport of M6G. M6G seemed to be a glucose transporter 1 substrate, but was not a substrate to probenecid sensitive transporters. Major conclusion: It is concluded that different transporters are responsible for M6G transports via different membrane, which could have effects on its pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics.
Issn1560-8115 (Print) 2008-2231 (Electronic)
JournaltitleDARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences